Certainly when Nobel Laureates speak we should listen. They have, after all, been recognized as powerful thinkers who made remarkable contributions to science. Does the fact that 39 Noble Laureates have come out in support of Darwinian evolutionary theory mean there are no thinkers in this category who oppose Darwinian theory with equal force and expertise. No. Presumably Elie Wiesel who apparently spearheaded this letter contacted many Nobel Laureates to ask them to sign up. It would be interesting to see the list of those who declined. Given the current climate would many of them be willing to express their misgivings concerning Darwinian theory. Not likely. There is, however, one who does so very eloquently.
Judging from Nobel Laureate physicist Robert B. Laughlin's new book A Different Universe if he had been contacted he would have declined. In fact in his book he offers a searing criticism of reductionist approaches to science in general among which he strongly criticizes Darwinian "theory". There is so much in his book that relates to the Darwinian/ID controversy I'll have several posts regarding its implications. However on this topic he states:
Most important of all, however, the presence of such corollaries raises the concern that much of present-day biological knowledge is ideological. A key symptom of ideological thinking is the explanation that has no implications and cannot be tested. I call such logical dead ends antitheories because they have exactly the opposite effect of real theories: they stop thinking rather than stimulate it. Evolution by natural selection, for instance, which Charles Darwin originally conceived as a great theory, has lately come to function more as an antitheory, called upon to cover up embarrassing experimental shortcomings and legitimize findings that are at best questionable and at worst not even wrong. Your protein defies the laws of mass action? Evolution did it! Your complicated mess of chemical reactions turns into a chicken? Evolution! The human brain works on logical principles no computer can emulate? Evolution is the cause!
Now some will say that portions of this quote could apply equally well to intelligent design theory. Perhaps so. However, judging from the amount of ink that is being deposited these days around intelligent design, one would be hard pressed to suggest that ID is not stimulating thought both of ID proponents and critics. According to this, Darwinian theory currently does nothing to stimulate the thought of most working scientists. Will ID ever reach a status of theory according to Laughlin's criterion? Hard to say. Now judging from his book Laughlin is no supporter of ID but his forthright criticism of Darwinism suggests that not all powerful thinkers happily support the Darwinian camp.